Anstec Maps Solid Plan After 8(a)

An inspired entrepreneur turns his company into one of the fastest growing 8(a) firms in the Netplex

Thirteen years ago Satyendra "Shri" Shrivastava was drafting a business plan to start an information technology company. Today, after a nine-year career with the 8(a) program, he is fine-tuning a plan to move beyond government sales into the commercial sector.

Shrivastava, founder, president and CEO of Anstec Inc. of McLean, Va., has hired Michael Lisagor as vice president of business development, and his son, Sumeet Shrivastava, as executive vice president and CFO, to guide this effort. The team expects to generate 50 percent of the company's revenues from the commercial sector and 50 percent from government contracts within five years. The current split is 80 percent from government sales and 20 percent from commercial sales.

The privately held company with 1995 revenues of $60 million offers information and data processing engineering services and contract technical professional services to the federal government and the commercial sector. The company, which functioned as an 8(a) from 1987 through 1996, won federal contracts with more than 20 different agencies.

Anstec's status in the 8(a) program helped the company win a $60 million contract with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and a $20 million contract with the Federal Highway Administration

As of now, Anstec's business plan calls for the establishment of several new divisions that will focus solely on the commercial sector. Anstec Technologies Inc. in Somerset, N.J., was established in June 1995 as a business development organization to target Wall Street firms. In one year, the division has grown to 10 employees and $2.5 million in contracts. The company is planning to open another division in Atlanta.

The company also has formed a public sector division to focus on state and local governments.

Shrivastava is also planning to explore acquisitions of smaller IT companies to broaden the company's business base. He expects the company to reach $300 million in revenues by 2000.

"The acquisition of technology or customer-based companies will bring us into new markets in the federal, state and local governments," said Shrivastava.

Anstec recently moved its headquarters from Fairfax to McLean to accommodate its whopping 1,410 percent growth over the past five years. It is one of the only infotech companies to appear on Inc. magazine's 500 fastest growing companies list for five consecutive years.

"I am surprised by my success," said Shrivastava. "My goals were not this high."

Bob Dornan, senior vice president of Federal Sources Inc., McLean, Va., a market consulting firm, says Anstec's knowledge of so many different government agencies has fueled this growth.

"The knowledge of the agencies and each of their missions puts them in a good position in the IT market," said Dornan.

Shrivastava, who came to the United States from India in 1970, started his company in 1983 after working for GTE Telenet in Reston, Va., and earning an MBA from Marymount University in Arlington, Va. He says he started his company after he was inspired by friends who had become successful entrepreneurs. When he earned his U.S. citizenship in 1984, he started Anstec with personal savings, a second home mortgage and credit cards.

His first employee was his wife, who served as the secretary, accountant, typist and proposal writer. The company initially offered training in C-language and UNIX operating systems. This training service led him to his first government contract in 1984 with the Marine Corps. Advanced Technology, which was bought by PRC, hired Anstec as a subcontractor to convert the Marine Corps message systems into PCs. Despite internal and external pessimism, Shrivastava and his team of three technicians converted the system in seven weeks.

"That experience gave me faith in my company," he said.

Dornan says that Anstec is one of the few 8(a) success stories.

"Post-8(a) work is like the cliff syndrome," said Dornan. "Some 8(a)s have not survived that cliff. But Anstec has done well attracting non-8(a) contracts."

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